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Monday, January 28, 2013

The Political Edition

It appears New Jersey racing should figure on Chris Christie being the Governor through 2017 unless the White House beckons in 2016.  Senate President Stephen Sweeney is the latest Democrat who has decided not to challenge the Governor in this year's general election, joining Senator Richard Codey (a former interim-Governor) on the sidelines.  As you recall late last year, Newark Mayor Corey Booker also decided to pass on the run, deciding to be a candidate for U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg's seat, assuming he will not be seeking re-election.  This leaves State Senator Barbara Bruno as the only declared Democrat running for Governor, a candidacy most people acknowledge to be a long shot.  Apparently, all the high profile Democratic candidates for Governor have decided it would be suicidal to oppose the Governor in his re-election campaign so they have all decided to stand aside. 

Are these defections good or bad for racing in New Jersey?  I would say it is a push.

Racing participants in Ontario are welcoming the selection of Kathleen Wynne as the newest Premier of Ontario, at least until the next election is called.  While I understand the desire to move on from the days of McGuinty, racing would be mistaken to think the clock is going to be rolled back to the good ol' days as Wynne has indicated her vision for racing includes racing "keeping with the model proposed by the Horse Racing Transition Panel", a plan which specifically claims there will be no returning to SARP.  It amazes me how some people still think the decisions of last year in Ontario will be reversed.  Changes may be forthcoming to make the plans somewhat less punitive, but racing participants need to get it in their minds that the 'gravy days' are over.  It is more a question of what does sustainable mean.
That being said, now that racing at Woodbine and Mohawk has been secured for the next two years, rumored next up on the Ontario racetrack interim deal plan is Kawartha Downs according to MPP Jeff Deal.  Deal expects the same plan to eventually be offered to all Ontario tracks.  While the plan may be offered, there is question if it will be accepted by all.

The Historic Stakes for two year olds are on the move, departing Vernon Downs and moving to Harrah's Philadelphia for the 2013 season.  The move shouldn't surprise anyone considering Jeff Gural has made it known he wished to de-emphasize two year old stakes racing.  The Historic stakes for three year olds will remain on the schedule at Tioga Downs. 

Yonkers Raceway has cancelled racing for Monday evening due to inclement weather.  Not that the weather should be bad at Yonkers, but those shipping horses down from upstate New York will find things somewhat 'challenging'.

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